Who to Report Data Breach To

Do you have any idea who to report data breach to? If you experience this within your company, you should know who you turn to and who should know about this incident. So, read on.

Who to Report Data Breach To

When a data breach happens, you will need to report it. You can report it to the relevant authorities if you are the individual whose data has been breached. But if you are not, you may need to ask your client.

The first thing you should know is that each country has its laws and regulations on the data breach. So, you need to check what the law requires in your country.

If you are in the US, you can contact these 3 agencies:

1. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

2. Department of Justice (DOJ)

3. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Those are the main government bodies in the US that are responsible for handling data breach issues. There are also some optional agencies that you can report your incident to, including:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Office for Civil Rights within the Health and Human Services Department (HHS).

If you live in Canada, your Privacy Commissioner is your one-stop solution for reporting data breaches. And here are the things that they will be interested in:

  • The kind of personal information that’s been breached 
  • How many people have been impacted by it 
  • The time frame of the breach
  • The source of your information 

For instance, if your information was breached by a merchant or a financial institution, then it’s worth contacting the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Report Data Breach to Customers and Partners

When a data breach becomes too large, then you will need to report it to your clients and partners. For instance, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) expects businesses to notify their clients and incidents to the ICO within 72 hours of the breach.

We suggest that you should report it to your customers and partners as soon as you can. You can use this timeline:

  • 0-72 Hours: Contact the authorities and follow the procedures to report the incident 
  • 72 Hours – 2 Weeks: Work with your team to understand how this happened and what damage it caused 
  • 2 Weeks – 3 Months: Discuss your options with relevant agencies, regulators, law firms, etc. 
  • 3 Months – 6 Months: Communicate with affected customers about how you are going to address their concerns 
  • 6 Months – 1 Year: Make sure that you have all things covered. If there are any changes, contact relevant agencies again. 
  • 1 Year Onward: Keep on checking if there are further incidents or consequences of this breach for you or your customers.

If you are an individual whose data has been breached, then you need to report it to relevant authorities in your country. 


So, if your company is the victim of a data breach, then you need to report it to relevant authorities in your country. While this may seem like a daunting task, it’s not that difficult. You just need to take things step-by-step and follow the right procedures.

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